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Oct 2, 2008 01:48 PM

Needs help with Charlotte NC BBQ restaurants

Hello there---we will be in Charotte, NC on October 15th (late night) and October 16th. We wanted to go to Barbecue King Drive In on the 16th during lunch and somewhere late Weds. October 15th. We really love great barbeque---any late night suggestions?? Karen

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  1. Mac's on South Blvd. But you'll hear Charlotte has no good BBQ.

    1. Mac's is open late but, though I love the ambiance, the BBQ is just not very good. I've tried to love it but it's just so bland. If you do go there, try the SC-style mustard based sauce. I think it's their best offering but you have to ask for it -- it's not in the bucket of sauces on the table.

      I've come to develop a fond appreciation of Old Hickory House on N. Tryon. I know it's a love it or hate it place but I really like their combo plate (half pork, half beef). It's only open until 9pm though so may not work for you.

      Note: I'm originally from the West Coast so my opinion on BBQ can easily be discounted.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HungryGrayCat

        I like the barbecued brisket at Mac's. It's not fabulous, but reliably good. My friend, GFL, will suggest McKoy's Smokehouse & Saloon on Old Pineville Rd. for barbecue and southern fare. My understanding is it's a nothing special-looking place, bar atmosphere and supposedly has great 'cue. Outdoor dining too and they are open 'til 2a.m., but serve food 'til 11pm. Here's a link to their website:

      2. I live in South Charlotte and eat at the Q Shack quite often. It's right off I-485 & Providence Rd at Promenade shopping center. They have great pulled pork and I really like the beef brisket. I've lived in the South most of my life and went to college in E. NC so I've had plenty of Q. I'm not a Q snob who will argure over whos best as I like all kinds but I think the Q Shack does a really nice job.

        1. Let me preface this by saying, "I eat at Mac's, and I think the food is good."
          The suggestions for Mac's may only satisfy your late-nite criteria. Though it's good food all around, you should know that it is a "concept" shop, owned by a local restauranteur, whose portfolio includes a Tapas restaurant (Las Ramblas) and a Modern American/Wine Bar (Bonterra). I tell you this because I cringe at the idea of a fellow foodist coming to town, eating at Mac's, and thinking they have experienced NC BBQ (their website touts "Best BBQ in Charlotte - Kansas City BBQ Society...that's great, if we were in Kansas City). You will have good eats and a good crowd for sure. It's an old auto shop geared up to a conceptualized biker bar. By all means, a well done restaurant.
          If, however, you are looking for an "authentic" NC 'cue shop, you'll be hard pressed to find one open late. These are generally family run businesses, with fairly limited hours. One example is Bill Spoon's on South Blvd. Spoon's is an old school, family run, Charlotte institution. It's greasy spoon, and free of chic, trend, and flash. They serve whole hog BBQ in eastern NC style. It is the closest to "the real deal" that you may find in Charlotte.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bellyspeaks

            bellyspeaks is dead on. I completely agree on all counts. I will also add that I do like Mac's BBQ a lot-- you do need to add the sauces to it (I prefer the red sauce to the mustard-based sauce). It's not NC BBQ but it often hits the spot for me.

            1. re: bellyspeaks

              Bill Spoon's IS the place to go for good eastern NC style bbq. If you go, they usually close around 2pm - unless their hours have changed since Bill died.

              This should be a "can't miss" place for your visit. Also, take cash.

            2. There is no great, real barbecue in Chalotte. You may want to consider other options.